The basal ganglia are a highly interconnected network of nuclei essential for the modulation and execution of voluntary behavior. The neostriatum is the principal input and one of the principal controllers of the output of the basal ganglia. Neostriatal projection neurons seem to be dynamically and powerfully controlled by GABAergic inputs, but the source(s) and physiological properties of these inputs remain unclear. Here we use paired whole-cell recordings to show that this inhibition derives from small populations of GABAergic interneurons that are themselves interconnected through functional electrotonic synapses. Inhibitory synaptic potentials generated from single interneurons are sufficiently powerful to delay or entirely block the generation of action potentials in a large number of projection neurons simultaneously.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes